S&T project empowers coco farmers group in Siquijor

The official publication of the DOST-PCAARD and the Siquijor State College for the STC4iD Project. (rac/PIA7-Siquijor)

To serve the poor and the disadvantaged communities, to capacitate and empower them to become productive in order to achieve inclusive growth and development.

This is the primary goal of the Science and Technology Community-based for Inclusive Development Project (STC4iD Project), which for Siquijor province, is introduced to the selected community in the town of Enrique Villanueva – the Bitaug Small Coconut Farmers Association or BISMACOFA. They are one of only five recipients of the program, together with the selected communities in Sorsogon, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, and Sulu.

Developed by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), the project is implemented through the Siquijor State College’s (SSC) Research and Extension department with the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC), the local government unit of Enrique Villanueva, and some partner agencies. This is in response to Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s agenda towards promoting science and technology, self-sustaining and inclusive growth, and increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and tourism.

A Techno Demo Farm was established and managed by the BISMACOFA whose farmer-members envisioned Brgy.Bitaug to be “a progressive and peaceful place to live in where the residents/community live happily, harmoniously, and united in all walks of life.”

This is also made attainable with the introduction of some eco-friendly integrated crop-livestock and poultry production technology that would increase farm productivity and income to provide a sustainable supply of locally produced fresh and safe food products for beneficiary families and the public consumers through the DOST-SSC-STC4iD-BISMACOFA Learning Center and “TIKAD” newsletter.  “In the learning center and the TIKAD newsletter, people would be able to know how do the association grow and improve their capabilities as they serve the community to give quality products and learnings,” said Project Leader Philna Palongpalong during the launching of the newsletter.

True to its commitment of empowering the community, BISMACOFA Secretary Julita Palahang attests that the project is a great help to the association. She said that assistance from the different agencies  keep them motivated to further strengthen the association.

Madasigon ug mapasigarbohon kami nga ang asosasyon pinaagi sa STC4iD  project, nakatabang gayud namo sa among pamilya. Ang among mga tanom, ang mga seminar ug training nga gipaambit nakatabang gayud kanamo labi karon sa panahon sa pandemic. Nakapamaligya kami sa among abot, ug dili na mi kinahanglan mamalit sa tiyangge, makapaambit pa gyud, ug labi sa tanan, nakaincome na mi (We are motivated and proud that the association, through the STC4iD project, have helped our families. With the seminars and trainings given, our farm has helped us especially during this pandemic. We were able to  sell our produce. We don’t have to buy from the market. Some we even share with our neighbors but mostly, we have earned for our families),” said Julita, while citing the farm implements and the technical support extended to them from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the agriculture office,  and the local government units.

She also thanked the Department of Labor and Employment for the layered chicken and other support, the DOST for its “Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST)” that that helped capacitate the farmer beneficiaries through technology and skills development training and workshops on peanut and vermicompost production and provided commodities and services for the construction and establishment, operation and management of the peanut farm and vermicompost facility, and the Department of Trade and Industry for more trainings.

BISMACOFA projects include vegetable growing with vermicast as fertilizer, livestock (native chickens and pig) raising; vermicast production; farm expansion; and  establishment of market outlet in the barangay for fresh and processed food as well as link with resorts and restaurants and the development of an agri-vegetable tourism farm and farm stay as among the tourist destinations in the island and as the on-the-job site for Grade 12 students taking agri-TVL.

Located in Bitaug, Enrique Villanueva, the project is implemented with the involvement of the seven BISMACOFA Board of Directors, eight members from the STC4iD Project Team, and 45 active members who are selected farmers and fisherfolks of Brgy. Bitaug.  (rac/PIA7-Siquijor/ with reports from Everlita Calibo of SAID)

Peanut Production harvesting during the Farmers Field Day at Bitaug, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (Photo from Project Leader Philna Palongpalong FB)


By Rizalie Anding Calibo

Source: pia.gov.ph

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